South River Falls Trail

MODERATE 221 reviews
#9 of 145 trails in

South River Falls Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stanardsville, Virginia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,272 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

views

waterfall

rocky

Directions from Front Royal, VA: Skyline Drive travels the entire length of Shenandoah National Park. Mile markers are placed along the right-hand side of the road heading south. They are numbered from north to south beginning at the northern terminus in Front Royal, Virginia. Facilities, trails and park features use the mile markers as points of reference. Park in the South River Picnic Area where the trail begins near the third parking area. The milepost is 62.8.

2 days ago

A really great hike. We went after a rain storm, and the waterfall was flowing heavy. We were fortunate to have the place to ourselves for a good half hour, it’s very serene as you’re sort of in your own cove beneath the falls. Would definitely do this hike again.

8 days ago

Nice hike. Cool streams along most of it. Beautiful waterfall at the end.

hiking
17 days ago

Great family hike. Waterfalls and rocky river views

walking
17 days ago

Pretty descent down to the overlook. Not a lot of direct sunlight which helps keep you cool. Will work for your way back up but very doable. There is a picnic and restrooms area in the lot for pre/post needs.

28 days ago

Down, down, down means a long hike back up. One nice view of the falls on the way down, then you can circle back to the trailhead. If you have time and energy to go all the way to the base of the falls, go for it - it’s beautiful, but it’s the hardest part of the trail - steep and rocky.

1 month ago

The views of the falls during the descent down are lacking. However, the base of the falls is spectacular and something that shouldn't be missed. The hike difficulty is moderate, but nothing that most semi-in shape people couldn't handle.

1 month ago

Great hike, nice and quiet. And with all the rain the waterfall was stunning

hiking
1 month ago

Great 3 hour trip. Beautiful along the river, especially after the rain. The base of the waterfall is absolutely worth the detour! The fire road back is a pretty steady incline through the woods but the shade makes it manageable.

hiking
1 month ago

Took my two dogs and though it was tricky at points to navigate had a blast!

hiking
2 months ago

I’m not in the best shape anymore and am definitely not back to my prime hiking fitness. I found this trail to be challenging but doable for even someone like myself. The views were amazing. I will definitely be back to do it again.

2 months ago

Great, make sure you go all the way to the bottom of the falls.

2 months ago

Wonderfully maintained. Beautiful water hike if you go after a lot of rain has fallen.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved this! Falls were beautiful - not sure kids would be able to handle the uphill hike back. There were a few wet spots but nothing super crazy.

2 months ago

Went with our dog after a lot of rain, the water crossings were challenging due to slippery rocks. We saw 2 snakes once we arrived at the waterfall.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this on 4/29 with both my 9 and 5 yr old boys. We only hiked out to the concrete waterfall lookout area and back which was about 3 miles total. This was by far the most challenging hike I've done with them so far. The hike back is all uphill, and some of the rocky areas could get dangerous if you're not aware of your children's abilities and experience hiking. Great hike overall, quite a few beautiful spots to sit and enjoy the sounds of the water. I'm sure I could enjoy it even more if I wasn't concerned about fishing my kids out of the water

3 months ago

This was a nice afternoon hike on a beautiful day. Falls were low but good challenge making your way back up!

5 months ago

Beautiful hike! A little difficult on the way up, but I can’t complain about the views!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike!! We had a sunny crisp (35deg) day and it was perfect!

5 months ago

We hiked this on 2/27/18 and it’s a beautiful journey. I recently had major reconstructive foot surgery due to an injury back in October so I was a little worried and probably a lot crazy to to do this hike but I faired very well. I will say that though the description says kid friendly, in my opinion this trail is ok for older kids maybe 10 and up. I have a 11 year old daughter she wasn’t with us but I cannot imagine bringing younger kids on this trail. There are some tricky areas and the up hill journey back would entail lots of carrying or complaining from younger children. I don’t recommend his trail for children under 10 unless you plan on carrying them a lot. It’s a beautiful view once you get down to the falls. Would definitely go back.

hiking
5 months ago

The falls were epic after all the recent rain. Going down to the base is absolutely necessary. You won't be disappointed. The return is all uphill and it wore me out a bit, but not too bad. I did the loop with the fire road and part of the AT.

6 months ago

Would not recommend for kids under 12 who aren’t experienced. It’s all fine and dandy going down, but the whole return trip is uphill.

hiking
7 months ago

Lovely views and solitude during the winter. It’s an easy hike for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

7 months ago

Great trail to hike up close to the falls. Long downhill track in the beginning.

8 months ago

Nice moderate hike.

hiking
9 months ago

This is actually South River Falls Trail. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful hike!

9 months ago

Well worth going to the bottom of the falls. Going back up does suck. Def recommend taking the fire road back up. Would like to see the falls in the spring.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike-
Easy down but a bit of an uphill battle. Bring water!
Saw a rattlesnake with her babies-

hiking
11 months ago

Overall great trail. Make sure you go down to the base of the falls. We took our dog and he loved it. The way back up is relatively difficult unless your used to uphill hiking...it's a steady incline the whole way back. You could take the fire road as an alternative back route but I wouldn't recommend it- it's just an uphill gravel road as opposed to an uphill dirt path with streams and stuff to see.

hiking
11 months ago

11 months ago

My favorite hike thus far! You have a stream run by you the entire hike and an amazing view towards the end! Not your grandmother's hike coming back though!

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